Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Combustable Moving-Picture Viewer Exists One Year!

"Tesla invented this cake... but I'm eating it!"

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Exploding Kinetoscope's first post. I can honestly say it has been variously fun, torturous, a waste of time, and enriching... in short, everything blogging is all about. Other film blogs may give you more daily content. I've generated only 56 posts in the entire year (a surprise even to me). I'm happy with much of that writing, though anyone reading the introductory post can sense it's not nearly as much writing as I anticipated. But I don't know who else is going to give you 10-page essays on one performance in Teen Wolf.

Minako and Usagi lay waste to the
ExKin official birthday cake.
Eat up, ladies!

I debuted ExKin the day after Christmas, but it's also the day before my birthday. There's nothing important about that, except I wanted to have three fun days in a row. Kinetoscope was always intended as a personal exercise in improving my film writing. And I wanted to sharpen my viewing habits. They go hand in hand. I like that: a passion for art consumption and an artistic skill set holding hands, on their way to the movies. And oh my God, you guys, do I love going to the movies. And almost as good, is getting espresso after, and talking about the movies. I obviously spend more time watching and writing about film than I fake-publish here. I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but dexterity of thought and speed are my focus for 2007; expect at least twice as much Kinetoscope next year. Faster, looser, but, well, more.

At times like this, it's natural to ask "why?" - why keep a public film diary? And why read someone else's? Well, I like blogs because they tend to be written by obsessives, those living the cinephile lifestyle in full, and those who write about film because they cannot help it, not because they're being paid to do so. The mission here is still a journey through all-things movies. It's a life of haunting the broken seats and smoky carpets of revival theaters... sleepwalking through the hidden aisles lined with dusty racks of over-sized VHS boxes... navigating the gleaming electronics store displays, head spinning from the new-plastic scent of freshly opened DVDs... What are we looking for? Where is Filmland?

It is the kinship between Famous Monsters and Cahiers. It is a tunnel between the drive-in concession stand and the arthouse projection booth. It's that weird spot where parallel streets Hollywood and Sunset meet:

When I moved to Los Angeles, I spent a lot of time making quiet pilgrimages to locations where Ed Wood, Jr. lived and worked. At the place where Hollywood and Sunset meet, is Wood's old office. And the Vista theater. And it's right by the Monogram studios. All in all, I'd say it's a holy place of movie history, though I doubt it's on many star maps, or gets many tourist visitors. If you've found it, you have deserved to find it. That's why I do it.

Self-Indulgence Bonus: My 5 Favorite Posts!
5. King Kong (2005) review, the first "real" post. Blogs are neat: write a review as distended, ridiculous, excessive as you like. No one can stop you.
4. Silly Red Eye review which caused much fury among young girls on Cillian Murphy crush-sites! No, seriously. I'm serious.
3. Some days it seems like I absolutely love every movie ever made.
2. Script changes to Kill Bill: how, why, and the net result. Stretching the limits of detail-enlargement like a missing scene from Blow-up!
1. Serious paper about narrative strategies in The Shining!


andyhorbal said...

Happy birthday! I've been contemplating one year-type posts myself--I started on January 19 of last year. Because we share many of the same motivations and much the same philosophy about blogging you've freed me up to go in some different directions (I can simply refer to this post).

Did you ever officially acknowledge that u r, in fact, just jealous because ur not as hot as Cillian Murphy?

The 'Stache said...


By the way, has anybody told you your picture makes you look like a blond David Lynch?